Image courtesy Men of Soe Burma

Born: 16th August 1916, Ipswich.

Died: 7th September 1945; Age: 29; Aircraft Accident.

Residence: Walberswick, Suffolk.

Employed: as a Chartered Surveyor working for Westminster City Council.

Commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1942. Posted – 12th May 1945 – to Burma Country Section of Force 136.


Rank: Captain; Service Number: 243574.

Regiment: Royal Engineers. Unit Force 136 Special Operations Executive.


Memorial Reference:

Face 3.

Rangoon Memorial,


Yangon Region,



Spec. Mem. 4.

Taukkyan War Cemetery,




CWGC – Please note that this casualty is currently commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial. However, recent research has shown that they were buried within the monastery grounds at Mewaing village, but as these graves cannot be maintained, the commission is in the process of commemorating them by special memorial plaques in this cemetery. Please contact the commission before planning a visit for more information.  (Images courtesy of Kevin Knights.)


Father: Donald Chambers Goldsmith, born September 1883, Sapiston, Suffolk, a Consulting Motor Engineer of Boreham & Goldsmith.

Mother: Janet Gwendoline Goldsmith (nee Curry), born December 1883, Tynemouth, Northumberland.

Family home – 31, Warrington Road, Ipswich.


Alan was educated at Ipswich School – left the school in 1934.



Alan was a Qualified Surveyor, Draughtsman & Valuer. He was sharing accommodation at 32b, Earls Court Gardens, Kensington with David S. Williams, a Civil Engineer, born April 1909.


Yorkshire Post – 15th December 1943

The engagement is announced between Alan Leslie Goldsmith, Lieut., R.E., only son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Goldsmith, of Ipswich, and Monica Mary Vaughan, Subaltern, A.T.S., elder daughter of Mr. G.C. Vaughan, C.B.E., and Mrs. Vaughan, of Carleton Lodge, Pontefract.


On the 15th April 1944, at St. Joseph’s Church, Pontefract, Yorkshire West Riding, Alan married Monica Mary Vaughan, born September 1920, Carlton Lodge, Pontefract. Eldest daughter of George Campbell Vaughan C.B.E. – Chief Constable of West Riding Constabulary, and Kathleen Mary Vaughan (nee Barry).


Probate to George Campbell Vaughan, attorney of Monica Mary le Seelleur (wife of Alfred John le Seelleur).


Alan is also remembered on the Ipswich School Chapel war memorial.


Unit Force 136      Special Operations Executive

7th September 1945

Alan was 1 of 12 passengers on a Dakota, serial number KN 584, with 4 crew members from 357 Squadron Burma 16. The aircraft went missing on a day sortie – Operation – ‘Character’. The tail unit was found and identified a week later. The cause of loss was not established. One theory was that a ‘wind shear’ knocked the aircraft out of the sky by a sudden gust of wind whist flying through mountains. A second is that the aircraft hit the side of the mountain 6000ft above sea level. 16 bodies were found and buried in a communal grave in the village of Mewaing, Burma.


Alexander Fraser Calder; Flight Sergeant/Air Gunner; age 20; R.A.F.V.R.

Roy Metcalfe Herdman; Flight Sergeant/Navigator; age 23 (his birthday); R.A.F.V.R.

Daniel McLeman; Flight Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.

Harold William Smith; Warrant Officer 1st Class/Pilot; age 23; R.C.A.F.


R.A.F. Personnel:

Frederick John Bryant; Leading Aircraftman; age 35; R.A.F.V.R.

William Thomas Patrick Davies; Flight Sergeant; age 23; R.A.F.

Bernard Hobart; Flight Officer; age 22; R.A.F.V.R.

Robert Napier; Flight Sergeant; age 24; R.A.F.V.R.

Archibald Smith; Sergeant; age 26; R.A.F.V.R.

Donald Hugh Wild; Flight Sergeant; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.



Stanley Harold Goodwin; Sergeant; age 24; Royal Engineer (attached 136 Special Operations Executive).

Edgar James Kennedy O.B.E. MiD; Lieutenant Colonel; age 44; Royal Corps of Signals (attached 136 Special Operations Executive).

Samuel McCammont Little; 2nd Lieutenant MiD; age 27; General List Royal Engineer (attached 136 Special Operations Executive).

Alfred Claude Brenton Sowden M.M.; Sergeant; age 27; Royal Corps of Signals.

Sydney Isaac Wigginton O.B.E. MiD; Lieutenant Colonel; age 31; Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment).


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